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Common application essay(Indicate a person who has had a significant influence .

l3goals12 7 / 18  
Oct 11, 2009   #1
Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence

I attend one of the top rated high schools in the land; I want to attend an internationally recognised university, obtain a degree in medicine and lead a nice and cozy life. That was me and my dreams a few years ago. Those dreams I had were not evolved from a desire to help others as much as a desire to please others, to live by the norms of society. Norms which consider that someone has succeeded if he has a good, secure, job. But it changed once I started spending more time with my great uncle and he started exerting what my calls his "negative" influence on me.

At age seventeen he left home soil to learn nursing in the UK bringing seven pounds as sole baggage. From there on he went on to become a nurse for Red Cross and the stories he's brought back home, such as when he barely escaped soldiers who ambushed his convoy in central Africa or went to see the Serengeti annual migration, aroused my taste for adventure and risk taking. Instead of trying at all cost to live a quiet life I have painstakingly employed every ounce of energy I had to get more involved in my community and school, because the norms of my society no longer suits me, and that I prefer the other side of life which I was shown; that is to say a risky but more exciting lifestyle. As for the challenges that I am faced with in high school, I finally appreciate them and even look forward for more because that's what makes my life worth living in the end.

My grand uncle who is a retired red-cross nurse likes to talk international events and politics while I am beating him up at dominoes. Unlike other Mauritian people I know his analysis is not tainted by the prejudices which are commonly held in a Mauritian society fractured between races and caste. Being confronted with his new points of views broadened my own vision of the world. I tried a more objective approach, abandoning my Mauritian standards which I used to assess every situation to which I was confronted. This has allowed me to accept that people from a different environment have different norms, to which they respond, and because I still do not comprehend these norms any better I've stopped making presumptuous assumptions about societies and people I have no knowledge of.

In a world where news is being disseminated as much by CNN as twitter journalistic objectivity is becoming rarer. Abandoning my preconceived ideas greatly increased my own independence of thought and my opinions are no more modeled by the media or common held-beliefs. Today they often clash with those of my great uncle but since I have learnt to think for myself I make my own interpretation of situations trusting more in my own abilities than those of other people.

Thanks to my great uncle I have understood what I really wanted in life and how to seize the opportunities to have it. I have more self confidence and I am ready to experience the challenge of tertiary education.

Is it too short?
Any suggestion is most welcome.thanks
Vulpix - / 71  
Oct 11, 2009   #2
"My grand uncle who is a retired red-cross nurse likes to talk international events and politics while I am beating him up at dominoes."

I think you should be beating him at dominoes, not beating him up at dominoes.
Also, you already mentioned in the previous paragraph that your uncle was a Red Cross nurse, so restating it here seems a little redundant.

Minor grammatical fixes aside, I think your topic is well-suited to the prompt and also interesting. Your great uncle seems like an amazing person, and you describe him and his influence quite well.

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